The ship-to-shore cranes had been removed from List 3 of Section 301 tariffs on China but were later added to proposed List 4.
Georgia Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue on Friday urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to remove ship-to-shore cranes from the proposed List 4 of Section 301 tariffs on China.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published a Federal Register notice including the proposed list on May 17 as it announced that it was accepting public input on potential plans to impose tariffs of up to 25% on approximately $300 billion worth of goods from China, in addition to tariffs already in place on $250 billion worth of goods from China in 2017 import value.
Tariff lists 1, 2 and 3 covered $34 billion, $16 billion and $200 billion worth of goods from China, respectively.
In a letter to Lighthizer, Isakson and Perdue noted Georgia ports in fiscal year 2017 handled 499,836 TEUs of containers.
Goods handled at Georgia ports are loaded and offloaded by ship-to-shore cranes under HTS code 8426.19.00, which were originally included in List 3 of the Section 301 tariffs, but subsequently removed after USTR determined they shouldn’t be subject to the tariffs.
“Consistent with that decision, we urge you to remove ship-to-shore cranes from the proposed List 4 of the Section 301 tariffs,” the senators wrote. “Doing so would allow our ports to continue with important infrastructure upgrades and will prevent major disruptions to trade in the southeastern United States.”
Last week, port officials also urged the administration to remove gantry cranes from the fourth tranche of tariffs during the U.S. Trade Representative’s Section 301 hearings. Michelle Ganon, the Port of New Orleans’ chief of staff and vice president of public affairs, is scheduled to deliver similar testimony Tuesday, the final day of the seven days of hearings.